|a blooming flower in Jinhae|
I thought I would never see Mr. Cherry Blossom again. I planned my 10-day solitary travel with main reason of chasing Mr. Snowman and play with him personally. I fulfilled that dream but as I travelled around South Korea, Mr. Cherry Blossom kept on peeping.
When I was Jeju on the 6th day of my 10-Day-Solitary Travel, the arrays of Cherry Blossom trees were starting to bloom everywhere. It was an early signs of Spring for me and wonder would there'll be more in Jinhae. I was set to fly to Busan on my 7th day and Jinhae is just more than an hour bus trip. I put that thought aside until I saw the blooming trees in Busan.
Indeed, only Mr. Cherry Blossom can change my meticulously organized itinerary.
|The arrays of Cherry Blossom trees in Busan|
|the early signs of Spring in Jeju Island|
On my 8th day in South Korea and my 2nd day in Busan, I woke up early to take a glimpse of the Cherry Blossom in Jinhae District in Changwon City located in Gyeongsangnam Province. Jinhae or Chinhae is known at the Cherry Blossom country in South Korea with its emblem proudly and literally represents as the Cherry Blossom country in South Korea.
From the hostel, I took the train from Busan Station to Sasang Station, took Exit 5 and searched to most obvious landmark - buses! Turning left from the exit is the Busan Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal. I walked towards the ticket counter immediately and showed my ipad with "Jinhae and in Korean words". I paid KRW5,100 for a one-way-trip, took note of the Platform number, bought my breakfast from the nearby coffeshop and then went to the departure area. The terminal is so efficient with different entrance and exits for the Departing and Arriving passengers.
|Busan Seobu Intercity Terminal|
|Ticket counters and trip schedules|
With my ticket on hand, I looked for platform 17 as indicated in my ticket and took the first row seat at the back of the driver. All throughout my trip in South Korea, I seemed to find my exclusive seat.
The trip took an hour with a traffic-free highway and Jinhae's streets were unexpectedly empty with few vehicles and people passing-by. It was either I was too early of a peak hour of the morning on a Thursday or business just really starts late in Jinhae with it seemed a slow-pace-way-of-living. I read in many blogs that traffic can be so terrible during Cherry Blossom Festival. Well, the downside of my trip was I was a week early the festival. Cherry Blossom blooms in certain period only and reaches its peak for a week only. It's like chasing the sand bar when its low tide.
I arrived at the very ordinary and typical town-ish terminal in Jinhae at nine in the morning. With map on hand, I searched first for Jehwangsan Park where I can take the monorail to reach the Jinhae Observatory and where I can see the panoramic view of Jinhae. It is also the nearest one from the terminal. I read from some blogs that during the festival, people flocked the area like bees. With long queues, many preferred to walk going up the observatory following the trail that covered with cherry blossom and other flowers that until now I can't seem to remember.
Going around the vicinity, crossing from one street to another looking up where I can see the monorail, I managed to enjoy the presence of few cherry blossom buds. Indeed, it's not the week yet where they will be in full bloom. The weather was just right, not too cold unlike Busan. I liked being alone in the streets.
|the array of cherry blossom trees along the street of Jinhae|
|Signs of Cherry Blossom Festival to bloom the week after trip|
At past nine in the morning, I was the first visitor of the monorail. I thought they were closed with nobody around but after sometime the man came out of the door. I asked him if I can take the monorail car to the observatory. He was friendly enough to went inside and took the seat at the counter. He asked if for a round trip, I answered for one way only. I wanted to take the trail down and see how far the distance would be. After paying KRW2,000, the same man ushered me to the monorail platform at the 3rd floor. I thought we would be waiting for more visitors to come before we take off but he maneuvered the car and there I had the monorail car exclusively for me only!
|my one-way ticket to the park|
|my first ever exclusive experience of a monorail - ah so that's what it feels like!|
|the accommodating Korea at the park|
I looked around the park. The observatory is nestled at the center where everything else surrounding the historical structure. Turning back, I can see the panoramic view of Jinhae. The landscape are naturally beautiful. It was so close to nature at the top where you can only hear the birds chipping.
|the monorail track and the stairways - two options to climb up and down the park|
Here are some of the photos of Jehwangsan Park.
|the scuptured garden that welcome the passengers alighting the monorail|
|the observatory tower|
|the landmark that indeed exudes "HARMONY" at the park|
|with some audience watching me as I took the photo with timed camera|
|the trail that I chose to walk rather than taking the stairway down to the entrance of the park|
|the panoramic view of Jinhae at the top of the park|
|the Bridge of Romance that serves as the perfect backdrop during the Cherry Blossom Festival|